12 weeks pregnant

6 months to go, yay! This week marks the end of your first trimester; more changes await you as the upcoming pregnancy months unfold. To help you understand week-on-week progress, here's a guide for you – read on.

Your Baby's Development: 12-week Fetus

Although you might barely show this week, your baby has doubled up in size and your 12 weeks pregnant baby size is about 2 to 2.25 inches. Your baby must be weighing around 14 to 15 gms. Here's how her development has progressed so far:

  • By 12 weeks pregnant, most of your baby's systems are fully formed. However, there's still a lot of maturing to do.

  • In the next 28 weeks, your foetus continues to evolve, where the organs get to work.

  • Your baby's skin will be delicate and translucent.

  • All the bones, including the skull, are now started to harden.

  • Your baby's digestive system has started flexing its muscles while practising contraction movements, preparing himself to push food through the digestive tract after birth.

  • Your little one's bone marrow is busy producing white blood cells, weapons that will help her fight infection after birth, while her liver is busy producing red blood cells.

  • Your baby's pituitary gland at the brain's base has begun secreting hormones. Her vocal cords are also developing.

  • Your baby's abdomen finally has the room to accommodate her intestines.

  • The placenta is entirely functional and has taken over the hormone production to sustain the pregnancy.

  • You will finally get to hear your baby's foetal heartbeat at 12 weeks pregnant ultrasound.

12 Weeks Pregnant Symptoms

You might be wondering about your growing belly, whether it's the right size. Don't compare your belly with other expecting moms. Remember that every pregnancy is unique and depends on various factors. You may start to notice some prominent changes in your body along with different symptoms like the following:

Bleeding and sensitive gums

Your gums might start swelling and become more sensitive as a result of increased blood volume and hormone levels. You may even notice them bleeding while brushing or flossing. Make sure you continue to brush and floss regularly. If needed, talk to your dentist to rule out problems. Use a soft toothbrush and rinse with salt water to feel better.

Feeling lightheaded

As your hormone levels change and your body produces more blood vessels, you might feel dizzy or lightheaded from time to time. Try wearing loose clothing, staying hydrated, avoiding standing for long periods, and eating regularly to feel better. Make sure you stand up slowly after sitting and do not change positions abruptly. Call your doctor if your dizziness is accompanied by abdominal pain or vaginal bleeding.

Sensitivity to smells

You might be sensitive to certain odours during this stage of pregnancy. Try eating cold or room-temperature food to avoid strong smells, using a fan while cooking, and handing over the trash taking out duty to someone else in your household.


Your growing uterus and hormonal changes might make you feel bloated. Try eating slowly to prevent swallowing air, as this may help in relieving some of the bloating.

Spotting or bleeding

If you experience bleeding (other than light spotting) accompanied by cramping, talk to your doctor for advice.

Things to Consider at 12 Weeks Pregnant

As you enter the twelfth week of pregnancy, your body is adjusting to habituate your pregnancy in your everyday life. While you move ahead, remember these certain things:

  • Balanced diet: Maintain a balanced pregnancy diet rich in proteins like fish, chicken, meat, or plant-based substitutes. Make sure to include several vegetables and fruits every day to get enough vitamins and minerals from them. Also, include calcium-rich foods like nuts, low-fat dairy, tofu, and beans.

  • Kegel exercises: Start practising Kegel exercises, as they help strengthen your pelvic floor muscles to support your uterus and bladder. This exercise is easy to do – Simply squeeze your pelvic floor muscles by contracting them like you would clench if you were trying to stop the urine flow or yourself from passing gas. Hold for a few seconds and then release. Perform at least 3 sets of 20 every day.

  • Pregnancy journal: Pregnancy is a beautiful journey with different milestones. You can start recording them in your journal so that you can look back on your journey after your baby grows up. You can also take weekly baby bump photos and paste them into your journal. You could also add a print copy of your ultrasound scan.

  • Twins? If you are carrying twins, they will be detected in the 12 weeks pregnant ultrasound. Learn more about the difference between fraternal twins and identical twins.

Precautions and Tips at 12 Weeks Pregnant

This is the time where most of your morning sickness will start fading away or has already faded. You might find yourself comfortable and confident than before. And, this is a good thing for you during pregnancy, as it is a part of self-care. Read below to know more about how you can take care of yourself:

  • Revamp your wardrobe: Add a new pair of stretchy bottoms or maternity pants to your wardrobe. These will help you stay comfortable as your belly expands. If you don't want to buy maternity pants, you can go for a waistband extender or pregnancy belly band that you can wear on unbuttoned skirts and jeans.

  • Snack on healthy food: As your nausea fades, you might start feeling hungrier. Indulge in nutritious snacks that are ready to go and easy to grab when you need a quick bite. Some good choices include raw vegetables, fresh fruits, nuts, dried fruits, seeds, yoghurt, cheese, hummus and chips.

  • Get vaccinated: Talk to your doctor to know if you need to get vaccinated for flu and other diseases to prevent passing on the infections to your baby.

  • Bye-bye alcohol: Consuming alcohol can lead to risks of birth defects and complications in your pregnancy. So, it is best to quit drinking completely until after delivery.

  • Choose your seafood: Say no to uncooked or seared seafood for now. Raw fish, raw marinated fish, refrigerated smoked fish can carry bacteria that are harmful to your unborn baby. Take out fish rich in mercury levels from the menu; these are king mackerel, shark, bigeye tuna, swordfish, tilefish, grouper, and amberjack. Eat shellfish in limits.

  • Water is your new best friend: Staying hydrated is the key! Your body needs water more than before. Don't forget to drink a glass of water for every half hour of activity. If it's summer, drink more.

  • Foods to stay away from: Avoid unpasteurised milk, soft cheeses like feta, Brie, Camembert, goat cheese, blue-veined cheese, etc. Always go for safer options like cheddar or Swiss.

At Your Doctor's Office

You might have your prenatal visit this week. Here's what you can expect:

  • Your doctor will measure your blood pressure and check your weight.

  • You might have to take a urine test to determine your protein levels and blood sugar.

  • If you have an ultrasound scan, you might be able to hear your baby's heartbeat. You will also know if you're twins.

Be prepared with a list of questions you want to ask your doctor at this visit. Prenatal appointments are the best times to get your doubts and queries solved. Here are some questions that might help you make your list:

  • Has the risk of miscarriage reduced? Is it the right time to announce the pregnancy to family and friends?

  • Is there a way to avoid getting stretch marks?

  • Is getting a flu shot necessary?

Track your baby's development with our week-by-week expert tips on pregnancy.

Your 12 Weeks Pregnancy Checklist

To summarise your 12 weeks of pregnancy, here is a small checklist that might come in handy:

  • Plan your maternity leave and speak to your employer.

  • Skip the boring! Think of fun ways to share the news with your family, friends, and colleagues. You could either organise a fun announcement party or hand out announcement cards.

  • Don't forget to schedule your dentist visit for a regular dental check-up.

  • Start looking for prenatal birthing classes. You can also ask your doctor for recommendations.

  • Plan your finances and decide a budget for the upcoming baby expenses.

Frequently Asked Questions

Although your baby starts to move inside your belly, you won't be able to feel those flutters and tiny kicks until the 16th or 18th week of pregnancy.

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